Guilt-Free Mac & Cheese
When it comes to favourite comfort foods, mac and cheese is at the top of the list for many people! If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle and get into healthy eating habits, you might think it is necessary to avoid comfort food.
I’m sure many of you already know that I don’t believe it is necessary to deprive ourselves of the foods we love. You can enjoy your favourite foods and still live a healthy lifestyle. One way to enjoy a balanced and nourishing diet is to make healthier versions of your favourite comfort meals. That’s where this amazing recipe for mac and cheese with spinach comes in!
Guilt-Free Mac & Cheese Recipe
This healthier mac and cheese recipe includes baby spinach, to add some goodness such as essential minerals to your plate. You’ll still enjoy the creamy taste of macaroni and cheese, only this way you can sneak some extra vegetables in.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Dietary preferences: Vegetarian, Nut-free
- 150g spelt pasta, like macaroni or spirals (or wholemeal pasta)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ small brown onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- pinch of dried chilli flakes
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 150g cauliflower, cut into florets
- 125ml salt-reduced vegetable stock
- 100ml reduced-fat milk
- 60g parmesan cheese, grated
- 120g reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 1 handful of baby spinach leaves.
1. Fill a large saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (see the pasta packet for the recommended cooking time).
2. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
3. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place the cauliflower in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and set aside.
5. Transfer the cauliflower to a high-powered blender or food processor (or use a stick blender). Add the vegetable stock and milk and blend until smooth. Return the pureed cauliflower to the saucepan.
6. Heat the cauliflower puree over medium-low heat and stir through the parmesan cheese and half of the cheddar cheese. Simmer until the cheese has melted, stirring frequently. If the sauce is a little thin, mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water to form a paste. Stir the paste through the cauliflower cheese sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring constantly.
7. Gently stir the pasta, onion mixture and spinach through the cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top of the mac and cheese.
8. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is hot and the cheese is golden.
9. To serve, divide the Mac and Cheese with Spinach over two serving bowls. Enjoy!
You don’t even have to rely on cheat meals when you can choose from healthier versions of your favourite comfort foods, just like this one.
Give this mac and cheese recipe a try!
Not only is this mac and cheese recipe super simple and tasty, but it is a budget-friendly option for dinner too. Making a dish like this healthy version of mac and cheese is a great way to avoid ordering takeaway after a busy day as well.
Are there any other comfort food recipes you would like to see get a healthy makeover? Let me know in the comments!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.